Harun is a Muslim boy from Pakistan. He enters India through the desert border of Kutch in Gujarat with his grandfather who is searching for his best friend. But Harun gets separated from his grandfather and is taken in by a kind Hindu family who mistake his name to be Arun – a Hindu name. Harun wins over the village with his loving charm and courage. Yet when his Pakistani roots are discovered, his intention is questioned by adults corrupted by the biases and prejudices of religion and nationality. This film that urges for the innocence and compassion of children in the affairs of the world, has won many heart and awards globally.
Director’s Biography: Vinod Ganatra
Vinod Ganatra has been active in the film industry since 1983. While working as an independent editor with television and the Indian Space Research Organisation, he launched his own production company, Movieman. He has several awards to his credit. Widely traveled, he has also served on juries of several international film festivals and selection panels
1. LIV ULMANN PEACE PRIZE – Chicago international Children’s Film festival – USA
2. BEST JUVINILE AWARD – Dhaka Intl film festival – Bangladesh
3. TRANSMEDIA CRITICS JURY AWARD – Mumbai – India
4. LIGHT OF ASIA AWARD – Buddhist Film festival – Sri lanka
5. CIFEJ PRIZE – Rimouski Intl Film Festival – Canada
6. SPECIAL MENTION FOR HUMANITY AWWARD BY CHILDRNEJURY – Rimouski Intl Film Festival – Canada
7. AUDIENCE AWARD – FREEZE FRAME film festival – Canada
8. BEST COSTUME AWARD – 29th Augburg children’s Film festival , Germany
Savitri is a young woman of virtue married to a virtuous man Satyavan. When the god of death Yama, comes to take the life of her beloved husband, Savitri stands in the way. She follows Yama and engages him in conversation. Yama grants her any wish she wants except the life of Satyavan. Savitri agrees but manages to outwit Yama, forcing him to spare the life of her husband. This is one of the most popular stories in the epic Mahabharata.
Director’s Biography: Phani Mazumdar
Phani Mazumdar’s six decades long career in cimema began in 1931 with Barua Studios, Calcutta. He wrote the scripts of ‘Abhigyan’ and ‘Abhagin’, assisting Prafulla Roy in directing them. He then directed the celebrated ‘Street Singer’ and ‘Sathi’, while also scripting and directing ‘Kapal Kundala’ and ‘Doctor’. He went to Singapore to work for the Shaw Brothers and in two years wrote and directed eleven feature film in Malay, Chinese and English. Returning to India in 1959 he directed the highly successful films ‘Aarti’ and ‘Oonche Log’. He has made a number of documentaries, children’s film and TV serials as well.
Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, affectionately known to his followers as Bapu, was a great believer in truth and gave the motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ – Truth Always Prevails. Raju, a village boy, decides to adopt the motto. However this puts him at odds against his village folks who have forgotten the meaning and value of believing in truth. Can a small kid refresh the memory of an entire village and make them believe in truth again? Morarji Desai features in this film, talking to children about the childhood of Mahatma Gandhi.
Director’s Biography: Vijay Bhatt
Producer, director and writer Vijay Bhatt, was one of the early pioneers of Indian cinema. Moving to Bombay early in his life, Vijay joined his elder brother Shankar who was a producer, by scripting the 1929 silent ‘Delhi Ka Chhela’. For the next half century, he changed the course of Indian cinema by making some of its biggest hits including ‘Ram Rajya’ (1943), ‘Baiju Bawra’ (1952), ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnai’ (1959) and ‘Himalaya Ki God Mein’ (1965). He also founded the influential Film and Television Producers Guild of India. He died in 1993.
Kailashi is an old lady. She serves as the nanny to Munna, the tiny son of Munshi Indramani. After a new maid servant is appointed in Kailashi’s place, Munna misses his old nanny and demands her recalls. Kailashi meanwhile is getting ready for a pilgrimage. Hence when she is recalled she is faced with the predicament of choosing between the two. In the end she chooses her duty towards the little boy as she believes that taking care of little Munna is no less than a pilgrimage. Mahateerth is based on a short story by Munshi Premchand.
Director’s Biography: Kedar Sharma
Writer, director actor and producer Milind Ganesh Dastane is associated with both Hindi and Marathi films. He has been part of many commercial films, television series and documentaries with many renowned directors in both the languages. ‘Aaji Ajoba’ is Milind’s first film as a director and co-producer.
A blind old woman lives in a village with her 3 grand sons. Only the youngest – Munna is kind to her and helps her in her chores. The two elder brothers are not only cruel to Munna, but do not give a thought to their grandmother’s blindness and age. One day a fairy appears before Munna asking him to look for a magic conch. Munna wants it to restore his grandma’s sight. Meanwhile his two brothers also come to know of it and stalk Munna for the counch. One of the first children’s film in India, Anmol Moti with its message that kindness is always rewarded, has remained a regular children’s favourite.
Young Meena is holidaying at a hill resort. She befriends the housekeeper’s son Badal and teaches him to read, write and paint. Meena promises to show Badal the city but forgets her promise when she goes back. Badal becomes depressed at not hearing from Meena. He puts his paintings in a box with Meena’s address and sets it afloat in the river. When the box somehow reaches Meena in the city, she submits it at a painting competition and wins the first prize. Will Meena now tell the truth and will Badal ever see Meena again? Written by famous Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai and directed by her filmmaker husband Shahid Latif, Jawab Aayega is rated as a children’s classic.
Director’s Biography: Ismat Chughtai & Shahid Latif
A well-known husband and wife team, Shahid Latif directed films that his wife Ismat Chugtai scripted. Both were highly respected in their own right in stage and literary circles and together they collaborated on many films during the 50s and 60s. Shahid Latif directed first film to star Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal, ‘Buzdil’ Ismat Chugtai is a globally renowned fiction writer.
Kashmira is a young orphan girl who lives with her uncle in Kashmir. She earns her livelihood by using her pony Kesari to ferry luggage on the hilly terrain. She loves nature and remembers her parents by the trees she has planted in their name. When young Mohan and his farther come to live in the neighbourhood, Mohan is impressed by Kashmira’s fortitude. He begins to dislike his father’s job who takes contract jobs to cut trees. Inspired by Kashmira, Mohan also plants a tree in his mother’s name. Meanwhile Kashmira’s cousin Ishtaque has nefarious plan of his own.
Director’s Biography: Sukhdev Ahluwalia
Sukhdev Ahluwalia joined the film industry in 1955 as an assistant camera man, working with Modern Studios and Raman Productions before switching over to writing and direction. A prominent filmmaker from Punjab, over the last four decades he has written and directed many films including ‘Do Sher’, ‘Dharamjeet’ ‘Taakra’, ‘Jai Mata Sheron Wali’, ‘Kunwaara Mama’, ‘Til Til Dalekha’ (that won Punjab State Govt. award for best story in 1979) etc. He has also made dozens of video films.
Mr and Mrs Wangal , their son Zangbo and dog Zing Zing Bar live in village near a mountain. One day Zing Zing Bar goes missing. While looking for him, the Wangals find a bundle of jewels and a letter. When the father goes to Simla to sell some of the jewels, he does not return. A worried Zangbo sets out to find him along with his dog. Many adventures await him as two cross paths with a dacoits. Would the young boy and his pet dog outwit them all and save the father?
Director’s Biography: Kantilal Rathod
A well-known painter also trained in film animation in Calcutta and in Chicago, Kantilal Rathod was in charge of the cartoon unit of the Baptista-Vijayakar production unit, Hunnar Films. Later, Rathod branched out forming his own company Akbar Films and made many art and industrial films. With his first award winning feature film ‘Kanku’ (1970), Rathod set a new trend. The film presented an objective account of a lower-middle class women’s monotonous and stultified existence. His second feature. ‘Ramnagari’ followed some years later. He has directed many features, documentaries and short films. He died in 1988.
The legendary Maratha king Chatrapati Shivaji, famous for his valour and brave exploits, had become a great leader when he was still in his teens. This biographical film depicts how he commanded his own army by the age of 16 and outwitted and defeated veteran warriors like Adil Shah who caused grave injustice to his people. Through the real life example of the great Maratha warrior, this inspirational film that won its lead a best child actor award, gives the message that no age is too young for true leadership, grit, humanism and a resolve to fight injustice
Director’s Biography: Prabhakar Pendharkar
Prabhakar Pendharkar got a chance to see and study how films are made firsthand at a very young age from his filmmaker father Bhalji Pendharkar, a Dadasaheb Phalke award winner. He formally worked with his father as an assistant director as also with V Shantaram between 1952 and 1959. He wrote and directed the Marathi film ‘Bhau Tithe Dev’. He worked in the Films Division for many years since 1961 and has won the National Award for the best educational and best promotional film.
Best Child Actor Award – 2nd Neo Youth international Competative Film Festival, Madras – India – 1982
A king looking for the map of a hidden treasure finds it in the back of a framed picture in grandmothers’ home. Realizing that some unscrupulous people are also in search of the map, he tears it into two, giving one to her for safekeeping. She hides it in her old gramophone box, unaware that a dacoit is watching her. She gets kidnapped and her grandsons try to find her even as the king’s wicked cousin hires a magician to find the location of the map. Will grandmother be rescued and does the treasure fall in the wrong hands? This magical ride through a wondrous land won multiple awards at the Moscow Film Festival, 1981.
Director’s Biography: Parvati Menon
After completing a degree in Law, Parvati Menon decided to make her career in films instead and became one of the first students at the newly instituted FTII in the 1960s. A prolific director, Parvati’s main concern in cinema has been children. She has taught, researched and written about cinema, while also writing, directing and producing many feature, documentary and short films. She has served as jury for many film festivals worldwide.
Best Actress to Leela Misra and Best Comedy Diploma Award – Moscow Film festival – India – 1981
In a Kutch village devastated by earthquake, Vikram, an orphaned kid, discovers the bust of King Vikramaditya. Having heard the stories of the ancient king’s exploits, Vikram is thrilled and hopes someday to be as brave and fair. An opportunity presents itself when a gang of six tries to steal the bust. Vikram resists the gang but is misunderstood and arrested for theft instead. What does fate hold in store for this brave kid and would he ever be able to live his dream of being like his role model?
Director’s Biography: Govind Saraiya
Govind Saraiya, has headed the prestigious Films Division for eleven years. As an UNESCO Fellow he worked in the UK, USA, France and Canada. Trained by Walt Disney, he made India’s first organized cartoon film and has since taught many cartoon filmmakers. He has directed six feature films, among them the renowned ‘Saraswatichandra’ and a range of educational and historical short films. Mr. Saraiya is also part of many policy making bodies and consultative film committees
Mrs. Bhatia, a porty woman, hates children and scolds them whenever she sees them. The kids dislike her in turn and take delight in scribbling over the walls of her bungalow to irritate her. One day, Mrs. Bhatia sees a new boy drawing on her wall and by the force of habit chases him away. Later she is surprised when a wealthy art lover Mr. Ganguly pays her handsomely to photograph the wall painting. When she finds out that Mr. Ganguly has sold the photograph for 10 times what he paid her, she is furious. Overcome by greed, she tries to find the boy with the help of a bungling journalist. Who is the boy that drew the painting? Will Mrs. Bhatia manage to find and exploit him?
Director’s Biography: Satyen Bose
One of the most successful and experimental filmmakers of India, Satyen Bose had no formal training in cinema but rose to become a prominent director and a master of the cinematic medium. His off-beat Bengali film ‘Parivartan’ in 1949 was a trailblazer and was remade into the immensely popular Hindi film ‘Jagruti’. He worked in many films in his career as writer, director as well as actor. His film ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’ is an eternal comedy-classic of Indian cinema. ‘Dosti’ in 1964 won him global recognition. His other notable films include ‘Bandi’ (1957), ‘Aasra’ (1966) and ‘Raat Aur Din’ (1967).